Category Archive Station Building

Join Us for Grow Your Audience with 99.3 FM WBTV-LP!

If you make a great show, but no one watches or listens, did it happen? Join hosts Morella Devost of Thrive With Morella and Gin Ferrara of The Upside VT in sharing strategies for reaching new audiences, and staying connected with your current listeners. Examples from WBTV-LP programmers will spark your own promotion plans and get you on track to growing your listener base!

Click here for more information and to RSVP!

Recommended Donation: $25

This donation supports our community media programs and is not a requirement for participation. You can bring a cash, check, or credit card donation to the workshop, or make a donation now at

WBTV-LP Joins Pacifica Network!

We are pleased to announce that WBTV-LP has joined the Pacifica Radio Network, the oldest noncommercial broadcast network in the United States, and a founding organization in the medium of community radio. Pacifica Radio is renowned for cutting edge grassroots journalism and arts, as well as broadcasting a variety of viewpoints that are otherwise unavailable in mainstream media.

WBTV-LP is the sixth Pacifica affiliate in Vermont and the first one in the Burlington market.

WBTV-LP already airs Pacifica’s flagship program, Democracy Now, weekdays live at 8am, with a replay at 5pm. The station also runs WINGS (Women’s International News Service) each Saturday at 4pm.

The Quiet Storm is a smooth jazz program on the Pacifica Radio Network, but the show’s creator, Skeeter Sanders, is a WBTV-LP programmer who does the show live from the studio right here in the Media Factory every Tuesday night from 8-10pm. Skeeter records the Pacifica-distributed version of his show at WGDR in Plainfield.

WBTV-LP plans to begin adding more programming from the Pacifica network in the coming weeks. Despite this exciting news, WBTV-LP will continue to always prioritize locally-made shows over other content from outside of Vermont, ensuring that the station is an outlet for diverse local voices in the greater Burlington community first and foremost.

We Are Licensed!

It has been a very long road, starting way back in 2011 when RETN and VCAM were approached by a small group of community members who knew that the FCC was going to open up a new (and probably the last ever) low power FM licensing window the following year. We formed a committee and applied for a construction permit to build a radio station here at the Media Factory. Our construction permit was approved by the FCC in September of 2014 and station-building began in earnest.

Our deadline to get on the air and complete our filing with the FCC was in November of this year and we made it! with the invaluable help of our volunteers and staff, we were awarded an LPFM license from the FCC on December 12, officially bringing the “station building” phase of WBTV-LP to a close.

Now begins the job of putting all the hard work and planning into a continued, sustainable effort to keep WBTV-LP not just on the air, but a valuable, needed voice in the community. That’s where you come in! There are several ways you can get involved at the station. Here are a few ideas:

  • Get a show! WBTV-LP accepts new program applications on a rolling basis and does bi-annual new-programmer trainings in December and June.
  • Volunteer on a station committee! WBTV-LP station leadership is done by committees made up of community members and RETN and VCAM staff. There’s always room for more help on the Radio Advisory Council, the outreach committee, the programming committee and/or the tech committee. Email the station coordinator for more info.
  • Become a listener-member! Do you prefer to stay in the background and support the station as a listener? Become a listener-member and contribute financially and as a voting member at our annual meetings. Email the station coordinator for more info.

Stay tuned as we roll out several new local radio shows in January and February of 2018 — the first round of officially-licensed programming from WBTV-LP, Burlington!

My Grassroots Radio Conference 2017 Recap

Grassroots Radio Conference 2017
Shelagh Connor Shapiro, WBTV-LP DJ
Host, “Write the Book” Radio Show

Podcast-110-GRC-2017.jpgEarlier this month, the Media Factory made it possible for me to attend the Grassroots Radio Conference in Albany, New York. Now that WBTV-LP is broadcasting, it was particularly exciting to be immersed in the culture of community radio and learn from people at all different levels of station development. Some120-150 people attended, representing community and LP stations from around the country. I learned a great deal about the operations, organizations, and visions of many grassroots radio businesses, took a lot of notes, and brought back some ideas for WBTV-LP to consider as we become more established on the Burlington radio airwaves. These are the presentations and workshops I attended:

  • 10 strategies to market your radio station, led by Marketing Professional Lisbeth Calandrino.
  • Lessons from Canada–disrupting settler colonialism and oppression in the media, a Skype presentation led by Laith Marouf (in Canada) and Gretchen King (in attendance at the conference), from CKUT in Montreal.
  • Fundraising: grant writing, pledge drives, underwriting, led by Clark Grant (KBMF-LP) / Butte America Foundation.
  • Community radio roundtable (a survey of the community radio landscape and a conversation about developing a support network): Sharon Scott (WXOX); Vanessa Graber (WPPM); Mike Yates (WAYO); Lauree McArdle (WERA); Cathryn Platine (WLPP); LaGanzie Kale (KLEK)
  • Writing and reading news script: “Groundwire,” led by Gretchen King and Candace Mooers (CKUT)
  • Station management: the story of KBMF In Butte, Montana, led by Clark Grant (KBMF-LP)
  • Receiving and distributing community radio content with Pacifica network and other national platforms, led by Ursula Ruedenberg and Rebekka Reuter (KHOI)

21144462713_db42c61325_z.jpgSince returning to Vermont, I’ve joined the Grassroots Radio Conference listserv, and plan to keep an eye on correspondence coming out of that group. I’ll be going over my notes at the December WBTV-LP RAC Meeting, which is open to the public. If anyone is interested to learn more, please come to that meeting on December 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Media Factor at 208 Flynn Ave.

We are on your radio dial Burlington! 99.3FM

21463145_10155024234090875_862877934453586997_nAfter six years in the making, we finally got our antenna up and powered on at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 8 (just in time for the 25th South End Art Hop). This was a labor of love by dozens of dedicated community volunteers and our partners at VCAM and RETN. To say we are excited is the understatement of the year.

Reset those car presets and tune in those work radios to the new 99.3FM, the newest community radio in the queen city of Burlington, VT!

And catch our locally made programming for this fall!